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Old 07-02-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Maple becomes manufacturing base of Geely Auto.

July 2, 2008 - Recently, the sales business of Shanghai Maple Automobile (SMA) has been integrated into the sales company of Zhejiang Geely Auto, and a new general manager of SMA has been appointed in charge of Maple manufacturing. This means Maple has really become a manufacturing subsidiary of Geely Auto, who aims to boost its sales by integrating and restructuring the corporate business management.

In early 2002, Shanghai Maple Guorun Automobile, a luxury automaker based in Shanghai, was acquired by the Geely Group and renamed as Shanghai Maple Automobile. The first Maple vehicle was produced in the summer of 2003. The Maple Marindo was one of the vehicles displayed at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show by Geely. In April 2007, a newly-appointed general manager from Geely tightened its grip on Maple and greatly reduced the prices of Maple brand cars by a range from 2,000 yuan ($291.6) to 8,000 yuan.

According to the company's statistics, the sales of Maple vehicles in 2007 increased by more than 10,000 units over the previous year, and Geely's Shanghai-based engine facility also raised its engine sales by 40,000 units. Insiders said that the engine sales boost is mainly attributed to Geely’s internal OE business. The performance of Maple is firmly bound with that of the Geely Group.

One year after its firm control over Maple, Geely provided its compact Vision sedan model to Maple for revamp. The new Geely FC Vision, now being re-modeled in Maple's design institute, is expected to hit the market by September as one of Maple's vehicles, which now include 5-door hatchbacks Maple Huapu, Maple Hisoon 205, Maple Hysoul, and 1.8 L sedan Maple Marindo.

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